Kylie, Todd and my flat have recently started having wee dinner parties. We have been taking turns at cooking and having each other round. Unfortunately, it came to my turn this week. EEEK! Everyone who has cooked so far has made incredible food! The highlight for me was probably the churro’s Kylie made. YUM! The pressure was on to cook something delicious. The hardest part was deciding on what to actually make. This is because I did not want to make something I had already made before, and also because the meal had to be gluten free, since Kylie is glutard.
I decided to make pate for an entrée and pork belly for main. I have never made either of them before so I thought it would be a good challenge. The inspiration to make the pate was from Thalia and Bianca from My Kitchen Rules. They made pate in their instant restaurant and they got a really high score for their dish, so I thought it sounded like a no brainer. Plus, I am absolutely obsessed with pate! I managed to find their recipe on the My Kitchen Rules NZ website and so this is the recipe I followed.
The pork belly recipe I chose was from Nadia Lim, a previous Masterchef winner. Her mantra is to make simple and healthy food, so it sounded like a goer. Her recipe also had a few tips in it, that I had heard previously from some of my friends. Therefore I thought this recipe would be a sure fire way to make a decent pork belly!
Prep: 40 mins
Cook: 40 mins (+3 hours chilling)
- 170g butter
- 2 onions, finely chopped
- 460g chicken livers, cleaned
- 6 bacon rashers, finely chopped
- 120g mushrooms, finely chopped
- 1/2 tsp thyme leaves
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tbs port
- 2 tbs dry sherry
- 2 tbs brandy
- 250ml (1 cup) pure cream
- Salt and pepper, to season
- Thyme leaves or sprigs, to serve
- To make pâté, melt butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until softened. Add chicken livers, bacon, mushrooms and herbs. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes or until livers are browned all over. Remove bay leaf. Transfer mixture to a food processor.
- Add port, sherry and brandy to pan and simmer for 30 seconds or until reduced by half. Add to food processor with cream and process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Strain through a sieve into a jug, then divide among serving dishes. Refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight until set.
- NOTE: I did not have port, sherry and brandy at home so I just added 3 x the quantity of sherry.
- Serve with freshly baked bread and/or crackers.
The pate turned out delicious. It was very light and creamy and tasted more like a parfait then a pate. I took the left over pate to work the next day and it got demolished!
FIVE SPICE PORK BELLY WITH CARAMELISED CHILLI SAUCE
Serves 4 to 5
Prep time: 10 minutes + 1 hour or overnight to dry skin out
Cook time: 45 minutes
- 1kg free-range pork belly
- 1 tablespoon Chinese five spice
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 2 teaspoons salt
Caramelised chilli sauce
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 large shallot, finely chopped
- 4-5 large red chillies, sliced (remove some of the seeds if you want a milder sauce)
- 2 inches ginger, cut into small matchsticks
- 1 cup white wine
- ¼ cup hoisin sauce
- 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
- ½ cup water or chicken stock
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- Put the pork in a colander and pour boiling water over the skin (the skin will tighten up). Dry the pork well and score the skin with a sharp knife at roughly 1cm intervals (scoring the skin will help the fat render out to create crispy crackling). Be careful that you do not cut too deep as to cut through the meat. Turn the pork over and slash a few shallow cuts in a criss-cross pattern into the meat side (so the five spice can be rubbed in to get more flavour into the meat).
- Mix the five spice and oil together to form a paste. Rub the paste into the meat side only, getting well into the cuts. Do not get any paste on the skin (the skin should be kept as dry as possible). Place the pork in a dish or tray and rub salt into the skin, getting into the score marks. Place in the fridge, uncovered, to allow the pork to dry overnight or for at least 1 hour. Drain off any liquid that may have seeped out and pat the skin dry with a paper towel.
- Preheat oven to 220degC. Place the pork on a rack in a tray, skin-side-down, and roast for 15 minutes, then turn pork over so it is skin-side-up, and roast for 25-30 minutes, or until the skin crackles. Turn the oven on to grill for a few minutes to give the crackling a final blast, watching carefully that it doesn’t burn. Rest the meat in a warm place for 15 minutes while you prepare the sauce.
- To make the sauce, heat oil in a fry pan and add garlic, shallot, chilli and ginger. Sautee garlic and shallots for 3-4 minutes, then add wine and allow to bubble rapidly before adding the remaining ingredients. Stir together and simmer sauce for 5-10 minutes to reduce down until it is slightly sticky.
- To serve, cut pork belly into 4-5 slices, divide between plates and spoon over some sauce. Serve with rice and stir-fried bok choy or broccoli.
The pork belly was delicious. The crackling was perfect and crunchy. However, be careful when buying your pork belly as mine had bones in it. I left them in during the cooking process. When it came to cutting the pork belly into segments, the bones were in the way. It was very hard to remove them, and the other elements that were going on the plate started to cool down.
Happy guests 🙂